After months of waiting and some feverish speculation about singular or plural “Jedi,” we finally have our first look at Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi. The follow-up to 2015’s smash The Force Awakens and the next chapter in the story’s main saga, Jedi will pick up exactly where Force Awakens left off, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) meeting Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on his remote exile island and handing him his long-lost lightsaber. Watch the first teaser above.
As Ridley hinted in today’s Star Wars Celebration panel on The Last Jedi, the relationship between Rey and Luke begins on rocky ground. (“It’s difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect,” Ridley told the crowd.) In fact, the teaser begins on the literal rocky ground of Luke’s island on Ahch-To, where Rey is gasping for breath. A few shots later, we see the rocks around her hands rise from the ground, in a shot reminiscent of Luke’s Jedi training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.
Unsurprisingly, the second film in the new Star Wars trilogy seems to be taking a lot of cues from Empire. In The Last Jedi, Luke has switched roles and become the teacher. “Breathe. Just breathe,” he instructs Rey in voiceover. “Now, reach out. What do you see?” Like Luke in Dagobah, heroine Rey has isolated herself from her comrades in the war against the Dark Side and appears to be training in the ways of the Force. “Light. Darkness. The balance,” she answers him. “It’s so much bigger,” he replies.
At the same time, Luke — who has been in exile for years — clearly doesn’t want Rey to go down the same path he did and seems to have lost faith in the power of the Jedi. “I only know one truth: It’s time for the Jedi to end,” he says. Cue the title card!
The trailer hints briefly at the traumatic event that may have caused Luke to renounce his role as a Jedi master: We see a hooded figure standing beside R2-D2 — reminiscent of Luke and R2 in Rey’s Force Awakens vision — as they watch a building go up in flames. This may be a flashback to Kylo Ren’s betrayal of Luke, described briefly in the previous film.
Speaking of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), he does show up in the teaser, along with other familiar Force Awakens characters. We see Finn (John Boyega), still in recovery from his lightsaber injuries; Poe (Oscar Isaac) and BB-8, running to Poe’s X-wing as it bursts into flames; Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) marching with her Stormtroopers; and General Leia (Carrie Fisher) consulting a holographic map of the galaxy. If it wasn’t clear from the trailer, the poster makes it obvious that Kylo is the main villain of The Last Jedi, with his face next to Luke’s representing light and darkness, separated (or perhaps joined?) by a beam from Rey’s lightsaber.
A few intense-looking battle sequences round out the trailer, showing that the First Order is on the attack (and has some new ships to boot). And then there some shots that deepen the mystery of the film’s plot: Why is Kylo Ren’s helmet crushed on the floor? What is that metallic object in the tree and that map emblazoned with the Jedi symbol?
Overall, the teaser reveals very little — less, arguably, than that first teaser for The Force Awakens. We don’t see the major new character introduced by director Rian Johnson at Celebration, Rose a Resistance maintenance worker (Kelly Marie Tran). Nor do we meet the characters played by Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro. Presumably, Lucasfilm will give fans as little information as possible leading up to the film’s Dec. 15 debut — because after all, it’s not like any of us need to be persuaded to buy a ticket.
Johnson takes over the helm from J.J. Abrams and new cast members Dern, Del Toro, and Tran join returning favorites like Ridley, Hamill, Boyega, Isaac, Driver, and Christie. Also among the ensemble: the late Carrie Fisher, who finished shooting her scenes as General Leia before her sudden death in December. The Last Jedi hits theaters on Dec. 15.
Also spy the ominous new teaser poster:
Watch our breakdown of the trailer:
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